5 Things Nurses Have to Deal with on the Job

Senior and nurse in the house with stair lift as a nursing service concept

5 Things Nurses Have to Deal with on the Job

Nurses have a hectic schedule, and with having to care for another person’s life, a nurse needs to be professional despite all of the obstacles that they face. When a nurse is working, they have to deal with a lot more than a grumpy patient.

Nurses have to deal with:

Handling Corpses

Patients die, and it’s often the nurse that will find them. Nurses will have to take care of the deceased one last time, cleaning and sealing the patient before their transfer to the morgue. It’s not a great way for a person to start their day by any means.

There’s also the fact that several areas of the body will have body fluids or blood coming out, including:

  • Anus
  • Ears
  • Mouth
  • Nose

Nurses tend to work on corpses quickly in an effort to avoid rigor mortis, which makes care significantly harder.

Bodily Fluids

Patients will have a lot of body fluids that seemingly come out of every area of the body. Urine, vomit, feces, blood and other bodily fluids will become the norm for a nurse. The worst part is that some nurses will have their own triggers that make their body react to these fluids.

Sometimes, a nurse may gag, and other times, the nurse may need to leave the room and vomit.

Smells and Sounds No One Wants to Experience

Smells and sounds are part of the job, and we’re not talking about hearing someone screaming in pain. Nurses get accustomed to the sounds of someone in pain, but the smells are very hard to “swallow.”

Nurses often try and force themselves to stay in the room to be professional, but some nurses have to excuse themselves because they start to gag and potentially vomit.

The one smell that nurses deal with that is the worst?

Bleeding from the intestines.

When a person bleeds from their intestines, the smell is putrid. Bleeding from the stomach has a similar smell, and it’s one that will make most nurses gag.

Happy Moments

Nursing isn’t all bad. There are plenty of happy moments they experience. When you see a patient defy the odds and open their eyes after being given no chance to live, the experience is life-changing.

You may also see a child with a spinal cord injury go from their power scooter to physical therapy where they start regaining some of their mobility.

Family members and patients will thank nurses, and sometimes, these friendships last forever. Watching the happy moments as a patient recovers is one of the best parts of the job, and it’s what helps many nurses forget all about the bodily fluids and smells that make them gag.

Pressure Ulcers

Have you ever experienced a pressure ulcer? If not, they’re definitely not something that you want to add to your bucket list. These ulcers are often oozing with a list of unpleasant smells and a yellowish, white secretion will ooze out.

When an ulcer has been allowed to progress, the skin within it may often weaken and will create a small tunnel when cleaning it.

If the patient has neglected going to the hospital or doctor to have their pressure ulcer properly cleaned, there may even be visuals of the person’s bone or in the worst case, maggots that form inside the ulcer.